For the last couple of weeks, it seemed like the Ben Simmons situation in Philadelphia was moving in a positive direction. After Simmons served his one-game suspension when the Sixers opened up the regular season with a matchup against the Pelicans, the star guard addressed the team and made it clear he wasn't mentally ready to return to the court to play.
Simmons' teammates and head coach Doc Rivers have supported him over the last couple of weeks. And the Sixers intended to help Simmons get whatever he needed to help him mentally and physically prepare for his eventual return to the court.
While Doc Rivers has continued to paint the Simmons saga in a positive light over the last couple of weeks, a report from ESPN's Ramona Shelburne reveals that Simmons and the Sixers' communication hasn't been all that productive lately.
Per Shelburne's report, Simmons has refused help from the Sixers' organization and has been getting it from the Players Association instead. In addition, there reportedly hasn't been any progress on talks of a possible return to the court for the three-time All-Star at this point.
"There's been frustration mounting. According to people close to the situation, Ben has not been accepting any of the help the team has offered him in terms of helping him with his ready with mental readiness and he has been working with mental health professionals through the Players Association. But thus far, I'm told, he hasn't really kept the team in the loop on that and there is frustration mounting there that they want to know, hey, you're you're out due to mental health, you need to get mentally ready to play. But so far he's just on individual work with some of their position coaches. He hasn't been back in with the team and he's not providing the team with any updates on what he's doing to get back and get himself into it back with the team and participating in team activity."
So far, the Sixers are seven games into the 2021-2022 NBA regular season. Without Simmons on the court for any of those games, they've rolled with Tyrese Maxey at starting point guard. While Philly's off to a decent 5-2 start, they still anticipate the return of their three-time All-Star at some point this season.
Will it happen? It doesn't seem likely at this time. While Sixers players and coaches have continued to show support for Simmons publicly, it seems the star guard is still focused on receiving his wish to be traded elsewhere at this point in time.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.